The Charity

The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve the bay’s watershed. Our almost 1,000-square-mile watershed includes more than 50 townships in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim and Kalkaska counties.

Our main activities include:
  • Advocacy and Outreach: The Watershed Center is the only organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Travere Bay. The cornerstone of this advocacy program is the Grand Traverse Baykeeper® program. Our Baykeeper serves as the eyes, ears and voice for clean, healthy water throughout our watershed and works with local governments, developers, planners and citizens; is involved in community planning projects and boards; and comments on proposed project permits and legislation. Our outreach activities include the Adopt-a-Stream volunteer stream monitoring program; water quality/educational signage throughout the watershed; healthy beaches signage and water quality monitoring during the summer months; and our annual Freshwater Summit conference, among others.
  • On-the-ground restoration projects: Over the past 14 years, The Watershed Center has successfully implemented almost $7 million in state, federal and foundation funding to improve and protect water quality in our region. Key projects include daylighting a portion of Kids Creek that was previously underground to improve stream health, the installation of 18 rain gardens and ¾ mile of underground infiltration trenches in Suttons Bay to reduce stormwater impacts to the Bay, installation of 3 large-scale stormwater filters at East Bay Park and reconstruction of a storm drain in Northport to protect wetland habitat.


Learn more about what we do and our impact at


The Watershed Center is a proud member of the Waterkeeper Alliance®, a non-profit organization representing over 3000 Waterkeepers on 6 continents to protect citizen’s rights to clean water.